Violence Against Girls in Schools: key facts

•    A study in the USA found that 83 per cent of girls in grades 8 to 11 (aged around 12 to 16) in public schools experienced some form of sexual harassment.

•    According to a 2006 study of schoolgirls in Malawi, 50 per cent of the girls said they had been touched in a sexual manner “without permission, by either their teachers or fellow schoolboys”.schoolgirls walk home from school January 29, 2002 in Murhison, a rural area outside Port Shepstone, in Southern Natal Province,

•    In Latin America, sexual harassment in schools has been found to be widespread in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama, among other countries.

•    In a survey of girls in Zimbabwean junior secondary schools, 50 per cent of girls reported unsolicited sexual contact on the way to school by strangers and 92 per cent of girls reported being propositioned by older men.

•    Forty per cent of the 77 million school-age children not attending school live in conflict-affected areas.

•    In Afghanistan, burning down schools, particularly girls’ schools, and threatening or assaulting girls who attend school have become increasingly common in recent years. At least 172 violent attacks on schools took place in the first six months of 2006.

•    Girls who are members of racial or ethnic minorities or who are Indigenous may be targeted for violence and face particular barriers to education. For example, Romani girls in several European countries face obstacles to education, including discrimination, high rates of poverty, patriarchal traditions which result in lower expectations for girls and early drop-outs, family obligations and early marriages.

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